Google honours award-winning author Mahasweta Devi

Google honours award-winning author Mahasweta Devi

Today would have been the 92nd birthday of Mahasweta Devi and to commemorate this day, Google has come out with a Doodle honouring her, which shows Mahasweta Devi in the foreground and tribal people, whose cause she championed, in the background.

Born in Dhaka on January 14, 1926, Mahasweta Devi was the daughter of Manish Ghatak, himself an accomplished writer under the pen name Jubanashwa and Dharitri Devi, a writer and a social activist. Educated in Dhaka prior to India's independence, Mahasweta went on to study in Santiniketan and got her B.A from Visva-Bharati University and M.A in English from Calcutta University.

Mahasweta began her writing career with a biography on Rani Lakshmibai, titled Jhansir Rani, in 1956. She then went on to work as a teacher and a journalist. Noted for her work focusing on tribal people, she studied them extensively so as to be able to write in a manner that could reach out to the people who read her works.

Mahasweta Devi was also an accomplished social activist and her activism led to many visible results, the first of which being the release of the statue of tribal leader Birsa Munda from imprisonment by the Jharkand State Government.

She was also instrumental in the fall of CPI(M) and the rise of Mamata Banerjee in the West Bengal government in the 2011 West Bengal Assembly polls. Additionally, she represented India in an impassioned speech during the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2006.

As an author, Mahasweta Devi penned over 100 novels and 20 collections of short stories. Her most popular works include Hajar Churashir Maa, Rudali and Aranyer Adhikar, the former two of which have been adapted into motion pictures. She won multiple awards for her works and her social activism, including Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award in Bengali, Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.

Mahasweta Devi died on July 23, 2016, following a major heart attack. Both Mamata Banerjee and PM Narendra Modi expressed grief at her passing.

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